Dateline Newport RI: June 24, 2016— An international group of sailors and guests at the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race prize-giving will celebrate the final moments of a spectacular week after starting the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch Friday, June 17 in Newport, RI. Of the 185 boats officially registered to race, 133 boats set out expecting be sorely tested by difficult conditions in the 635-mile Gulf stream crossing. Forecasters were wrong. 122 finished with just ten dropouts coming from equipment failures or just drifting conditions. The race actually turned out to be one of finest with a full moon and normal offshore sailing conditions.
His Excellency, The Governor of Bermuda, George Fergusson and the Commodores of the Cruising Club of America, Jim Binch, and of Commodore of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Leatrice Oatley, will present 114 prizes. Five are major Division trophies and the remainder are for class podium finishes and other awards. The ceremony is held on the grounds of Government House overlooking Bermuda’s North shore channel.
The yacht Warrior Won, an Xp41, skippered by Christopher Sheehan of Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club took the main prize, the St David’s Lighthouse Trophy. This silver replica of the islands landmark lighthouse is awarded to the boat in St. David’s Lighthouse Division that is first on handicap corrected time. This division was the largest in the fleet with 110 entries.
In the second largest division, the Cruiser Division, Shearwater wins the Carleton Mitchell Finisterre Trophy for first place on corrected time. She’s a Mason 43 sailed by Daniel Biemesderfer out of Stonington Harbor Yacht Club.
Bermuda’s favorite entry, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s training ship, Spirit of Bermuda took first against 3 other competitors; and among the Double Handed sailors, Yankee Girl was first out of 16 entries with co-skippers Zachary Lee of Pelham NY and Gust Stringos of Skowhegan ME sharing the helm. They win the Philip S Weld Moxie trophy.
In one of the most exciting developments Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s Comanche won the open division, was first across the finish for line honours and set a new Open elapsed time record of 34 Hours, 42 minutes and 33 seconds. This is a professionally sailed ultra modern boat designed to win line honours and break records around the world and win the Royal Mail trophy
The excellent performance of High Noon, the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team from American Yacht Club was another magnificent achievement. The crew of seven 15-18 year-olds, two parents and a coach sailed to first place on elapsed time for a ‘traditional’ boat. Their Tripp 41 came second overall across the line with an elapsed time of 72 hours, 44 minute, 11 seconds but corrected behind Warrior Won and Flyer, a Cal 40 skippered by Douglas Abbott.